Hawthorn are well placed to pull off yet another trade coup, with Gold Coast gun Jaeger O’Meara nominating the Hawks as his preferred new home in the upcoming trade period.
The injury-ravaged 22-year-old hasn’t played an AFL game since the end of 2014 but remains in hot demand after making a sensational start to his career, including winning the Rising Star award in his debut season in 2013.
Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright on Tuesday said the Hawks were keen to make a deal for O’Meara.
“We fully respect that Jaeger is a Gold Coast player and we will work closely with the Suns in the lead up to the trade period to ensure we can get an appropriate deal done,” he said in a statement.
With O’Meara not qualifying as a free agent, the Suns have said they won’t be giving him away cheaply and may force him to enter this year’s draft if an appropriate deal can’t be reached.
Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane issued a strongly-worded statement last month, saying the Suns intended to make a stand after investing time and resources into O’Meara’s rehabilitation.
Suns coach Rodney Eade has suggested O’Meara would be worth two top-10 draft picks despite his lengthy stint on the sidelines and the talented midfielder is certain to at least command one such selection.
But few would bet against the Hawks securing O’Meara given their unrivalled ability to get deals done for star players in recent years.
The glittering list of players lured to Hawthorn in recent seasons includes premiership stars Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Jack Gunston, Brian Lake and Ben McEvoy.
O’Meara’s Gold Coast midfield partner Dion Prestia is seeking a trade to Richmond and is also likely to attract a first-round draft pick.